Circling around the crystalline sky, barely flapping my wings

I used to set a lot of goals.

Dozens of them every year.

This was a deeply meaningful personal growth exercise that motivated me to accomplish great things in my life.

And it’s funny, I will occasionally go back and review my old lists of goals and visions boards from when I first started my publishing business. Clearly, I was a man on a mission. All the cylinders were firing. There were so many things I wanted to be and do and have, I couldn’t see straight.

God bless that confident innocence of my twenties.

But what never ceases to amaze me is just how narrow and naïve my thinking was back then. Because after years of setting all these goals, I started to notice that my goals weren’t really goals, they were strategies. They were approaches in service of my actual goal, which was fulfillment.

Whether it was the books I wrote, the clients I landed, the places I traveled or the cash I earned, those were just intermediaries to something more meaningful. This awareness around goals led to my life becoming significantly better, easier, simpler and calmer.

I began singularizing, meaning, treating as many things as possible in life as paths towards my ultimate destination. I’d focus on my definitive commitment of fulfillment to free up decision making power and open me to a world of opportunity. One that I might have otherwise missed, back when my attention and intention were fragmented across a collection of what I assumed were goals.

In essence, letting go of focusing on any specific outcome and instead actively committing to move in a general direction, that was my sanity.

Now, I’m not saying I’ll never set another goal again. It’s just hard to unring that fulfillment bell. Once you’ve tasted the sweet, sweet nectar of existential simplicity, it’s difficult to go back.

What if you framed your own growth accordingly? How much less would your life weigh if you singularized?

My favorite part about this philosophy is the abundance and possibility that’s available. After all, our ability to predict the future is bound only by our own limited imaginations. What do we really know about what we want?

Much of our fragile language around goals is riddled with these panic inducing scarcity words like specificity, comparison and urgency. All of which appear helpful in service of achievement, but they’re actually sourced from fear.

It’s rooted in unworthiness. As if we aren’t enough until those boxes are checked.

Whereas transitioning from setting these goals to something more streamlined and abundant like fulfillment, damn, that’s when life starts to get really interesting.

Because now we’re just riding the spiral up. Were always growing, yet never covering the same ground and leading constantly to new discoveries. There’s no end point, we simply keep ascending. Becoming something more than we were, and not yet what we will be. Luxuriating into the upper reaches of growth.

I understand that isn’t what most people think of when they consider the concept of a spiral. The word is typically used to describe the continual decrease or deterioration of something.

Like an addict living under a bridge on a downward spiral towards losing her life to heroin. Or a sports team who lost eleven straight games and is on a downward spiral toward a disastrous finish to the season. Or a workaholic whose hypertension and stress sent him on a downward spiral toward divorce and heart disease. Or a struggling big box retailer who didn’t adapt to modern technology that is on a downward spiral toward bankruptcy.

In mathematics, however, a spiral is simply a curve which emanates from a point, moving farther away as it revolves around the point. That’s the generic definition. And in art, philosophy, religion, magic and the occult, the spiral is representative of the way to the higher level of consciousness.

Spiraling is a pattern of growth where nature induces, protects and supports us with cosmic energy.

Doesn’t that sound better than a list of things you’re pressuring yourself to be, do and have?

I don’t mean to discredit people’s joy in writing their lists of goals. It’s just that I just spent so many years guilt tripping myself with my own lists. And all it really did was give me diarrhea. Didn’t have a solid bowel movement for years thanks to my unmanageable level of stress.

That’s why today, my energy today is more around expansion rather accomplishment. I’m still a high achiever, I still want to be and do and have many things, but it comes from place of expression, not expectation.

It’s rooted in my definitive commitment to fulfillment. Everything else is merely a strategy to get there. W

hatever the results are, that’ll be fine with me. Because I’m just here for the journey.

I’m the hawk circling around the crystalline sky, riding the wind current, barely flapping my wings.

What philosophy will help you luxuriate into the upper reaches of growth?


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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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